Gators hire former Dolphins assistant to replace Charlie Strong
George Edwards, a 19-year coaching veteran with 12 years experience in the NFL, has been hired as Florida's new defensive coordinator. Edwards, who just completed his fifth season coaching linebackers for the Miami Dolphins, will replace former coach Charlie Strong. Gators' assistant Chuck Heater will serve as Co-Defensive coordinator.
“George is a tremendous teacher of the game of football,” UF coach Urban Meyer said. “He has proven himself at the highest level in the National Football League, but his roots started at the college level at Florida and in the SEC. He is a great addition to our staff and will be a great coach and mentor to our players.''
Edwards was a graduate assistant at Florida in 1991.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the UF coaching staff,” Edwards said. “I started my career at the college level at Florida and I enjoy teaching and molding young men. I am looking forward to working with a great group of people at Florida and a great group of players.”
Edwards has held various collegiate positions from 1991-97, including stints at Florida, Appalachian State, Duke and Georgia. During that time, he tutored the Georgia defensive line that featured Richard Seymour and Marcus Stroud in 1997. Both went on to become first-round selections in the 2001 NFL draft.
A native of Siler City, N.C., Edwards is a graduate of Duke University, where he was a four-year letterman and played for former UF head coach Steve Spurrier. He was a two-year special teams’ captain and an
All-ACC honorable mention selection at linebacker in 1989.
In his first season working with the Dolphins' linebackers, Zach Thomas was selected to the Pro Bowl for the sixth time after recording 166 tackles despite playing in just 14 games. Former Gator Channing Crowder, a third-round draft choice, started 13 games and registered 90 tackles, the highest total by a Dolphins rookie since 1996 (Thomas, 180).
“Coach Edwards is one of the best assistants in the NFL,” Crowder said. “He has had a huge impact on me and I looked up to him like a father.”
Edwards is the Gators' third assistant coach hired this week.